A reforested area in Brgy. Ampucao’s Sitio Bagbag

TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. has begun reforesting 50 hectares (ha) of land at the host and neighboring villages of Padcal mine, its gold-and-copper operations in this province, for the year’s environmental-protection program amounting to P1.62 million.

“Protecting the environment in various forms, such as reforestation, has become our habit, not just following what is required of us by the government regulators,” Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and assistant resident manager of Padcal mine, said.

This year’s reforestation-and-maintenance activity kicked off June 19 at the roadside close to the Bumolo project, in Itogon town’s Brgy. Ampucao, where the company had drilled holes as part of its exploration activities, Leon Mocate, senior forestry coordinator at Padcal’s Environmental Quality Monitoring and Enhancement Dept. (EQMED), said.

The initial areas planted with forest trees, fruit-bearing trees, and tropical plants included the Central Saddle area at the mine camp in Tuba town’s Brgy. Camp 3, as well as the roadside going toward the subsidence area in the same barangay.

Mocate also said that eight personnel from the EQMED as well as 17 contracted workers carried out the initial tree-planting activity, which includes the replanting of 15 percent of the 50-ha areas that had been reforested last year. These workers will soon be joined by Philex Mining officials and other employees for the planting seedlings in other areas.